Cross-border fire resulted in the death of one Indian soldier on Sunday, March 24, in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district. Pakistan reportedly fired artillery and rockets into Poonch district beginning Saturday night (local time), March 23. According to the Indian army, Indian forces retaliated and inflicted casualties on Pakistani troops, though no statements have been released by Pakistan regarding the incident. This is the third death from Pakistani cross-border shelling since Monday, March 18. Other incidents were reported in Rajouri and Sunderbari districts. Further shelling is possible on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir in the coming days and weeks.
Tensions significantly escalated between India and Pakistan after the IAF conducted airstrikes on a a suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) camp near Balakot (Pakistan) on February 26. JeM recently claimed responsibility for a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) attack in Pulwama district (Jammu and Kashmir) on February 14, killing at least 40 Indian paramilitary officers. India has accused Pakistan of supporting the attackers. The airstrike initiated a series of retaliatory airstrikes and artillery fire near the Line of Control (LoC). Tensions have calmed since the return of a captured Indian pilot on March 1, but sporadic gunfire and shelling continues across the LoC.
India and Pakistan both claim sovereignty over Jammu and Kashmir, which has been the focus of periodic violent conflict since 1947.
Individuals in India and Pakistan are advised to monitor developments to the situation, refrain from travel to Jammu and Kashmir and all areas near the India-Pakistan border, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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